There’s a certain segment of the fanbase who might hear about the Seahawks signing Dwight Freeney – replacing the injured Cliff Avril, who hit the IR last week – and think, “Oh, there’s a Hall of Famer! Super Bowl here we come!”
Just as I’m sure there’s a segment of the fanbase who will say, “He’s a 37 year old who has been on the decline since 2012, what are you thinking?!?!?!?”
The reality probably falls somewhere between those two extremes, but ultimately I don’t think this is a move that can hurt the Seahawks too much, with the potential to help them in delightful ways.
Dwight Freeney is taking over the roster spot vacated by Cliff Avril, this is true. But, he’s not replacing him! He’s not going to start opposite Michael Bennett and play 75% of the snaps, or whatever it was Avril was averaging before he went down. We’re talking about a role player, who should play almost exclusively on obvious passing downs, who is certainly closer to the end of his career than the beginning, but who also still has something left in the tank.
The only question now is: How much?
If the Seahawks signed him, it can’t be nothing. Granted, he hasn’t played any football since the Super Bowl, but I’m sure he’s kept himself in pretty good shape. And this is going to be his 16th season in the NFL, so it’s not like he needs a lot of reps to get back in the flow of things. Line up on the end, face the quarterback, get around the offensive tackle, hit the quarterback. Bingo, bango, bongo, bungo.
There are certainly younger guys, stronger guys, maybe even faster guys out there on the scrap heap waiting for a call, but I like this move. No one on the market has the type of experience Freeney has, and I’ll take that over some no-name scrub any day of the week. He strengthens our depth now, and as he gets acclimated to the game, and our team, he should only get better as the season goes on. And, as he did last year, I have to believe he’s saving his best for the playoff run. He knows what it takes to go on a championship run – he’s got a title with the Colts, and he’s played on great teams the last two years – and I’m sure he’s got a lot of wisdom and tips to offer the younger guys on this team.
But, you know, even if he comes in and his career is finished, what have you lost? A little bit of salary and some time. It’s a gamble well worth the risk.
Welcome to Seattle, Dwight Freeney.
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